Friday, 08 June 2012 14:17

Friday Feature: A Couple Cooks

Happy Friday! We are most definitely ready for Friday over here at Thursdays. This weekend I fully plan devote one full day to playtime and the other to finally catching up on my giant list to do. 

Before we bid you farewell for the weekend, we are so pleased to share the cooking duo Sonja and Alex from A Couple Cooks. This darling couple are not only residents of my own hometown, Indianapolis (whoop! whoop!), but they also have quite the spectacular food blog. Sonja and Alex are big on working with fresh, seasonal, and unprocessed ingredients. Their mouth-watering recipes certainly do the trick when we're itching to try out something new in the kitchen. We simply love them and we just know that you will too! 

Enjoy!

Stephania

PS. Colleen and I love featuring super talented food and craft people from our home state, so shoot us an email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  if you think you fit the bill!

Sonja & Alex - the cooks behind A Couple Cooks!

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hoto: Erin Alderson

 

1. Tell us a little about A Couple Cooks. When did you start the blog and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

We started A Couple Cooks nearly 2 years ago – it grew out of us discovering a love for cooking whole and natural foods.

Our main hope for the blog is simple to inspire – to inspire people to relearn the art of cooking and eating!  Like many in our culture these days, we grew up with little desire to cook and thought about food as a quick way to refuel on the run. We’ve gradually been learning to love taking time to prepare (and even grow!) food that is good for our bodies, our community, and our environment.

couple_cooks_pepper

2. When did you start cooking together and why do you think it's an important thing to share?

 

We started cooking together when we got married 5 years ago. We had just moved into a house, and wanted to have friends over for a meal. Our friends had us over and made homemade sushi that blew our minds! We wanted to have them over, and needed to figure out how to cook something at least half as good. A rivalry developed that led to more and more extravagant dinners, and we started having to research how to make things – we began checking out DVDs of Julia Child and Alton Brown to try to understand how to keep up!
Around the same time, we read the book Food Matters by Mark Bittman. It completely changed our perspective on food, and how the decisions we make affect our planet and our bodies. We have since become passionate about caring for our personal health and the health of those in our community, as well as the environmental and sustainability implications to our food choices. This might sound overly difficult, but we’ve found it rewarding and addicting-ly easy. Fresh, natural food tastes so good that we’ve found we don’t crave the foods we used to eat.
We also just truly love to cook! It’s a way for us to spend time together, and a creative outlet for us.

We started cooking together when we got married 5 years ago. We had just moved into a house, and wanted to have friends over for a meal. Our friends had us over and made homemade sushi that blew our minds! We wanted to have them over, and needed to figure out how to cook something at least half as good. A rivalry developed that led to more and more extravagant dinners, and we started having to research how to make things – we began checking out DVDs of Julia Child and Alton Brown to try to understand how to keep up!

couple_cooks_blueberry
Around the same time, we read the book Food Matters by Mark Bittman. It completely changed our perspective on food, and how the decisions we make affect our planet and our bodies. We have since become passionate about caring for our personal health and the health of those in our community, as well as the environmental and sustainability implications to our food choices. This might sound overly difficult, but we’ve found it rewarding and addicting-ly easy. Fresh, natural food tastes so good that we’ve found we don’t crave the foods we used to eat. 

We also just truly love to cook! It’s a way for us to spend time together, and a creative outlet for us.

3. You all post a lot! Which means that you cook together a lot! We're all extremely busy people, and can often find it hard to make the time to cook. What tips can you give our readers on how to make cooking with your family a priority.?

I like that you said priority – that’s what it’s all about!  

When truly you care about your personal health and the health of your family, you’ll find that the sacrifice in time from a busy schedule is one worth making. We use most of our cooking time as a way to spend time together as well, so it’s like multitasking! (And you have to eat, so it takes care of that too!)  

We also try to focus on developing simple recipes on our site because we know that many of us are pressed for time. We try to fit recipes into the category of simple meals or what we call “food projects” – food projects being something that takes more time, but can be an activity done with family or friends (like baking bread or making homemade pasta). 

Pasta-646-Edit

4. Stephania and I are from Indiana as well, and have a lot of Indiana home-town pride. Has living in Indiana inspired your cooking/outlook on cooking? How?

We love living in Indiana! (I’m not a native Hoosier, but Alex is!) We’ve lived in Indianapolis for the past 8 years, and truly love the community here. All the local farmers and vendors we’ve gotten to know are inspiring people that make daily sacrifices to do what they believe in and bring good food, clean to Indiana.

tomatoswhy

We’ve loved getting to know about seasonal eating in Indiana, and that has shaped the way we cook and create recipes, and the ingredients that we incorporate.

5. What's in store for A Couple Cooks? What do readers have to look forward to?

Hmm, good question!  We’re starting to get a bit more into video, so look for more videos to come! 

We’re also in the midst of writing a cookbook – we recently travelled to Cambodia to visit a culinary training program for at risk and underprivileged Cambodian women called the Green Mango Cafe. We’re currently writing a cookbook to raise funds for the girls we met, which is exciting! All ad revenue from our site goes to the organization that runs this program (CGI), as well as IJM, an organization that fights injustice and human trafficking around the world. We are so excited to be able to do what we love, while benefitting those in need!

couple_cooks_cambodiacouple_cooks_cambodia2

We’re also having fun getting plugged in more in our community – we’ll be teaching a cooking class this summer and have a few more interesting projects in the works. 

 

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Friday, 09 December 2011 11:49

Weekly Roundup!

Why hello everyone!

Last week's weekly roundup featured quite a bit about Christmas and just like Lucie my holiday tunes are on repeat to keep me in the holiday spirit! This week we've included various projects and recipes to fill your winter days with plenty to do and infuse the holiday spirit.  At the end of this week we've found some great ideas for even more cooking and crafting this weekend!  It's almost crunch time for the holiday festivities which means lots of crafting and cooking for everyone! I cannot wait try make the French Onion soup recipe I found tonight for my roommates! 

Happy cooking and crafting!

xo

Mary Clare

 

This week we posted:

Bling it On: From the Last Glue Gun Mafia

In Louisville the crafters were showed how to make some amazing beaded jewelry. Check out these photos for some holiday gift inspiration!

Grown up Five Cheese Mac & Cheese

Lucie gave a brief glance to some of her family's holiday traditions.  If you're feeling like a kid but want to eat something with a bit more flavor try her delicious family recipe for mac & cheese!

DIY Holiday Gift: A Cozy Blanket

Michelle has a simple yet gorgeous pattern to make a warm blanket for yourself or others to enjoy during these chilly nights.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter

This recipe may be my absolute favorite for the week. It's such a delicious blend of flavor that is sure to please anyone you'd like to serve this to!

DIY Gift Wrapping, Pumpkin Tortellini & Christmas Cookies

With an array of ideas from cooking and crafting it's a perfect list of ideas for a night in before the holidays!  Creative wrapping techniques range for different personalities, making your Christmas gifts a little more special this year!

This week they posted:

DIY: Button Statement Rings

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This was one of the first websites I stumbled upon this week and I fell in love with this idea Gliter N Glue had.  Who doesn't have old buttons laying around from previous clothes that just go to waste? This is such a fun idea to create that vintage and unique look all on your own!

Monkey Bread with Bourbon Créme Anglaise

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Take the time to create a special treat for yourself to enjoy during breakfast!  This absolutely delicious recipe makes my mouth water. Try out The Kitchn's breakfast treat for your special guests this holiday season!

 

Snowball Cookies- My Favorite Holiday Cookies

Snowball-cookies

There's something about these little white fluffy cookies that caught my eye.  A Nut in a Nutshell grabbed my attention with these sweet tweets that look perfect for the holidays.  Try out her recipe today for a mouth watering experience!

 

Sophisticated Popsicle Stick Crafts

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It's amazing what you can do with simple items that are taken for granted.  Someday Crafts shows how to make some fun items and ornaments with popsicle sticks.  Check out these easy DIY crafts!

The Best French Onion Soup (...Ever!)

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My FAVORITE kind of soup especially in the winter.  This updated recipe from Cookography carmelizes the onions and includes many ingredients that give this soup tons of flavor. 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Sunday, 20 November 2011 15:31

Mom's Delightful Dressing

Continuing with the family recipes the Thursday girls have been posting, I'll be giving you guys my mom's recipe for her tasty dressing! I just want to start off to say of course I'm biased, but it really is just THAT good! I catch myself asking her to make it after the Thanksgiving holiday!  She's so busy preparing that I've been asked to get out the kitchen!! So I was able to find a recipe that was if not exactly alike, so close you couldn't tell the difference! I hope you guys enjoy!

Shana

Dressing Recipe:

What you need:

  • 1 pound of sausage (My mom likes Bob Evans or whatever you prefer)
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of Celery
  • 2 pounds of cornbread
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 to 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

*My mom doesn't put sage in her dressing but as I stated before the recipe is so close that I'm sure the sage makes it just that much better!

{picture and recipe from marthastewart.com}

thanks_stuffing

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage (and giblets, if using) over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.
  2. To pan, add onion, celery, and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium; cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add to sausage.
  3. Add cornbread, sage, and eggs to sausage and vegetables. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour 1/2 cup over stuffing, and toss gently (cornbread will break down into smaller pieces). If needed, add up to 1/2 cup more broth, until stuffing feels moist, but not wet. Stuff into turkey, using about 4 cups. Spoon remaining stuffing into a baking pan; it should reach the top. Refrigerate stuffing in pan and remaining broth separately, covered, until ready to bake.

*If your not going to stuffing it inside the turkey you should pour the entire amount of chicken broth on top of the dressing and put it in a large baking dish.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Sunday, 20 November 2011 13:45

Monday Morning Musings

Good Morning Everyone! It's the week of Thanksgiving and I'm so excited!! There's something about giving thanks with family around a table of great food that makes me so happy!! Make Sure to check out the tasty recipes from Lucie, Mary Clare and myself! As for this weeks Monday Musings we've got all you need to have a great Turkey Day from decorating to great desserts! 

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Shana

Monday Musings: A Day of Thanks

Warm & Modern Autumn Dinner Party

Need ideas for making your Thanksgiving table beautiful? Hosstess with the Mostess gives a pretty design, good for a holiday or any day!

thanksgiving_table_set

Quick bread in a bottle

This is a wonderful idea for anytime of the year, but as the cold weather approaches us fast it's a great holiday gift! Your friends and family are sure to love you for this gift from Sunset.com!

quickbread_in_bottle

DIY: No Sew Rustic Placemats For Your Thanksgiving Table

This DIY from Momtastic is quick and cute! Seems like you can't go wrong with this one!

burlap_placemat

Candy Cornucopia

A Simple Girl came up with a simple and cute idea that everyone is sure to enjoy! 

candy_cornucopia

 

Treat of the Week: Eggnog Spicecake Trifle

Does this sound delicious or what! Need a recipe for a dessert that your guest are sure to love?? I think this just may be the one!

eggnog_trifle

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Sunday, 13 November 2011 15:00

Monday Morning Musings

Is it just me or is November flying by!? Next week is Thanksgiving already but I won't complain because I'm a true Thursday girl; I LOVE to eat! This week we have a lot of fun and festive DIY's for you guys to try out! Enjoy, and of course keep cooking and crafting!

Shana

Monday Musings: A Dash of Design with a Hint of Recipes

Thanksgiving Desserts, Dumplings & Good Table Manners

Here are some great ideas for the Thanksgiving holiday that is literally right around the corner!

kitch_desserts

Glitter Wineglasses

With a name like "The Sass Life" these glasses fit in perfectly! They're easy to do and look great!

glasses_glitter

Autumn Centerpiece (Glimmer Mist Techniques)

Spice up any table with a cutesy centerpiece just like this one from Vickichrisman!

pumpkin_flowerss

Holiday-Homemade Plate

I'm extrelmely excited to try this DIY! It's simple and so cool!

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Outside in: Bittersweet and Rosehip Wreath

Here's a beautiful wreath that we all can make and DesignSponge shows us how to do it!

Bittersweet-wreath-1

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Sunday, 06 November 2011 20:19

Monday Morning Musings

Good Monday Morning, Thursday Girls and Boys! It's another work week, but I hope everyone enjoyed the extra hour of sleep! So with the colder weather quickly approaching, what's a better way to enjoy it then with tasty recipes you can enjoy while cozy in your home!

Shana

Monday Musings: Cold Weather, Tasty Recipes

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats, Sweet Potato Gratin & More

Take your choice or just make it all! I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong!

PumpkinTreats

S'moretini Shooters

Who says you can't feel all warm and fuzzy inside from a drink called a Smoretini Shooter! This drink has my vote!

smoretini_shooter

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is a great replacement to your normal and routine soups!

chicken_enchilada_soup

Warm Apple Crisp

I can honestly say that a Warm Apple Crisp is one of my all time favorites desserts and this recipe just makes me excited!

apple_crisp

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Sunday, 30 October 2011 11:29

Monday Morning Musings

Happy Monday! I hope everyone's Monday is going well! Despite the nasty weekend here on the East Coast; it's Halloween and many can't wait to go out and get those sweet treats! Here's some we've found, enjoy!

Shana

Monday Musings: I've got a Sweet Tooth!

Dracula's Dentures for Halloween

A cute DIY that you and the kids would love to make and then eat!

dracula-dentures

Chocolate Almond Cups

Easy as pie but it's an almond cup!! Y-U-M!

choco_almond_cup

Monster Munch (Halloween Snack Mix)

A snack mix that's sure to make anyone happy!!

monster_munch

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate covered pretzels are already a dream come true, but THESE pretzels are truly heaven sent!

white_choc_pretzels

Maple Pecan Popcorn

Maple, Pecan, and Popcorn! The excitment I'm experiencing may be unatural!

maple_pecan

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Sunday, 23 October 2011 20:56

Monday Morning Musings

Happy Monday everyone! Hope all is well in the cooking and crafting world. Last week I informed you guys we would be having a weekend roundup for all the things we've missed! We've decided to call it "Monday Morning Musings" and with Halloween around the corner this Monday we'll be showing you great treats to serve at any party or just share! Enjoy your week!

Shana

Monday Musings: Halloween Treats!

Rice Krispie Bar-Halloween Ghosts

An easy treat that everyone's sure to love!

rice-krispie-bars

Candy Corn Fudge

Dear Sweet Tooth...You'll adore me for this recipe

Sincerely,

Shana!

candy_corn_fudge

Pumpkin Applesauce

It's the season of the pumpkin and with Halloween right around the corner what's better than pumpkin applesauce!

pumpkin_applesauce

Halloween Cocktail: The JAck-O-Lantern

Put the kiddies to bed and start the party with this delicious cocktail! Great for a Halloween get together!

jack-o-lantern_cocktail

Ooey Gooey Caramel Pumpkin Blondies {with Chocolate and Walnuts}

I feel like the name says it all! Forget the trick just give me the treat!!

pumpkin_blondie

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 17 October 2011 08:51

Weekend Roundup

Happy Monday everyone! I had the pleasure of seeing Colleen and Stephania over the weekend, and they're always fun to hang with! This week we're starting something new. We're give you guys all the great things we miss over the weekend! Introducing the Weekend Roundup..feel free to appaluase! 

Shana

This week they posted:

Fettucine Alfredo, Lemon Spinach Pasta & Garlic Bread.

The Kitchn had Pasta Week and let's just say my mouth couldn't stop watering!

Alfredo

Treat of the Week: Caramel Apple Pizza

The first word that comes to mind is Delicious! What a way to welcome in Fall and National Pizza Month

caramel_pizza

Make Your Own Floral Suitcase

How cute is this DIY! Spice up that luggage with A Beautiful Mess!

Floral_luggage

Citrus Scrub DIY

I love this DIY and it would make a wonderful gift for the upcoming holiday season or a birthday!

citrus_scrub

[My DIY] Bungee Cord Bracelets

Simplistic but yet so darn cute!

bungee_cord_bracelet

 

 

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